I think a few months back I mentioned that most companies that have “big data” have a runaway train or avalanche of data. Most companies don’t even know all of what they have – and then they are afraid to delete anything in case someone might still need that data. Throw in lack of Data Governance and discipline and good data management – and the big winners are Google, Amazon, and anyone else who sells cloud storage and computing services.
A year ago I sung the praises of working at Credit Karma and building the Data Explorer. And then, I learned about the new Data Laws – GDPR and CCPA (Google them for background). Anyway, what I had built at Credit Karma (Data Explorer), was something that handled at least 2/3rds of what you need to know and do regarding these new Data Privacy regulations.
In IT, you need to keep learning new things and keep your skills up. It used to be that a system would last 4 years and then would have to be replaced by something new and improved – many times it was the “shiny penny syndrome” – but if everyone else were doing it – so were you. Look at any IT workers resume and see how having jobs that average 2 – 4 years is the norm. I’ve done a great job keeping up, but I have been asking myself – what new direction or chapter in my career would guarantee that I get at least 4 years out of this new avenue? The alarm bell went off in my mind as far as how I could capitalize on this emerging new Data Governance / Data Regulation market. Then the Twitter gig popped up – and I had a fast and furious “baptism by fire” in the commercial software world regarding these new Data Privacy laws.
Lucky me – I am now starting to design and build a full on Compliance and Data Discovery tool – which is light years ahead of the Explorer that I built at Credit Karma. But those 2 years at CK sent me down this new path – and in the process really has helped me re-invent myself career wise. Add in Twitter and now LendUp, and WOW – I just successfully made the full transformation.
Serendipity was involved, and I had a few months where the transition was a bit “messy”, but man, it is working out like a champ. In the IT world you have to reinvent yourself and keep your skills up or you fall by the wayside and get passed by. The best thing about my reinvention is that its not in one of the super “shiny penny” new technologies that many flock to – but because these data regulations mean heavy company fines (Facebook was fined several billions of dollars recently), I am finding that I am now sought after since not even 50% of the US companies are ready for this.
Anyway – my Reinvention is now complete – that’s the real story here.